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Robin Robinson - Citizen Columnist

Keys perfect for growing a grove of guava

The guava fruit tree probably originated in Southern Mexico or South America, but it has traveled the world and now is grown in almost every temperate zone, including the Galapagos Islands, where it is invasive. It is perfectly suited for the Keys’ climate. It cannot take a frost, likes well-drained soil, enjoys a winter drought,[…]

Garden towers provide healthy nutrition power

Growing luscious greens can be done with a yard, a balcony, a front porch or a sunny window. Use a fairly new product, Garden Towers, manufactured by Juice Plus. These handy white growing towers are about five feet tall and contain 20 pockets in which to plant seedlings. Marjorie Townsend and her husband, Justin, a[…]

Killing weeds the morally right way

The recent rains are wonderful for lawns and flowers and trees and of course, weeds. Short of sinking to your knees and hand pulling them individually, there are a few home-remedy type solutions you might try as you avoid the dreaded Roundup. If you fail to get all the roots out the weed will grow[…]

The Sargasso Sea, a fishy shelter

When the Key West Garden Club was designated by the county to develop West Martello into the majestic gardens in 1953, the ground inside the fort was hard packed sand that would grow little if anything. The first thing the Garden Club did was mix 18 inches of seaweed into the soil. Seaweed is rich[…]

Understanding the excellence of Epsom salts for your plants

The cellular structure of chlorophyll contains three rings of electrons with one electron on the outer ring flipping in and out of the ring like a ticking clock. The nucleus of the cell is magnesium. It is the same cell structure as hemoglobin, except the nucleus of blood is iron. We are more like plants[…]

Heavenly aromas enhance the white gardenia flowers

New flowers planted at the white garden evoke amorous evening breezes to spread the scent to the erotic moths that search out their honeyed nectar. The new garden should be called the Moon Moth Garden for the night pollinators. The flowers are nestled in between the outer walls of the citadel inside Fort West Martello.[…]

Rare sabal palms fed the dinosaurs and their longevity is remarkable

The sabal palm has recently come under a good deal of criticism in the Citizen’s Voice, so I decided to educate myself about this much-maligned palm. This Florida treasure is a truly extraordinary tree. Although it is the state palm, it is considered rare in the landscape of Florida. Sabal palms live more than a[…]

Mondo grass starts easily, but is impossible to remove

Sometimes scientific names are stupendous puzzlements. Mondo grass (Ophiopogon japonicas) is easy because the thin-leaved plant forms mounds. But Ophio means snake and pogon means beard. I have never seen a snake with a beard, so I have a difficult time imagining what this grass resembles. The dissembler also is called dragon head. With a[…]